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Unemployment up at 3.7%...AUG jobs under Trump HERE

Friday, August 3, 2018

July 2018: Job Growth Under Trump

Note:  I am in the process of updating my Molly blog as many articles have not been updated for some time.  Thanks for your patience... and please check back!

Jobs Numbers for July 2018 were released Friday, August 3, 2018.  This is the 18th month of jobs reports under Trump.   We are still adding jobs; 157,000 jobs were added in July 2018.

How are we doing compared to the last 5-6 years of the Obama Presidency?

The chart below looks not only at the number of jobs added month-over-month; it looks at the percentage increase in jobs over six month periods.  That helps to even out the jobs numbers, which tend to vary quite a bit month to month.  (It's very misleading to make any assessments or assumptions based on one month or even two months of jobs data.)

On the following chart each bar represents the % increase in jobs over a 6 month period ending in the designated month.  Blue bars represent six month periods during the Obama Presidency; green bars represent six month periods overlapping Obama and Trump Presidencies; red bars represent six month periods during the Trump Presidency.

Here is what job growth has looked like over the past five+ years when calculated as a percentage increase over any running six month period:

Graphed with data from BLS table CES0000000001

You will have to click on the graph to really see it, but compare the red sticks on the right (job growth under Trump) with the green and blue sticks.  Job growth has been slowing slightly since 2014-2015.  Job growth is about the same under Trump (red sticks) as it was during the transition.  The last few months have shown an improvement, though still not as strong as the 2013 thru 2016 time period (blue sticks).  Job growth over the 6 month periods ending in July 2018 is finally close to what it was during the end of 2016, in the last months of the Obama administration, but not as robust as it was during 2014, 2015, and early 2016.

How do the first 18 months of Trump's presidency compare to the last 18 months of Obama's presidency in terms of job growth?

Trump vs. Obama:  18 Months
  • In the first 18 months of the Trump presidency, we added a total of 3,432,000 jobs; that is, 191,000 jobs/month.
  • In the last 18 months of the Obama presidency, we added a total of 3,704,000 jobs; that is, 206,000 jobs/month.   
  • In the first 18 months of the Trump presidency, we added 3,411,000 private sector jobs.
  • In the last 18 months of the Obama presidency, we added 3,425,000 private sector jobs. 
  • In the first 18 months of the Trump presidency, we added 300,000+ jobs in only one month, February 2018.  
  • In the last 18 months of the Obama presidency, we added 300,000+ jobs in two months, October 2015 and July 2016.
What does the future hold for job growth under Trump? 

We really don't know.  We know that job growth is usually better under Democratic administrations, but  there's nothing predictive there.  Basically, though, Trump crows about job growth... but, compared to the last years of the Obama administration, job growth has not been very special even though over 300,000 jobs were added in February. 

I will repeat from last month that it is a good thing for the people of the country that we are still adding jobs considering the uncertainty and absurdity of many of the President's policies.   Please also be aware that, while tax cuts may cause a short term increase in the number of jobs, they often lead to a recession with loss of jobs a few years down the line.  They also often lead to inflation-adjusted wage erosion.  Inflation is starting to creep up.  We also don't know the impact of the tariffs which have been discussed in the last couple of months will be.  Large tariffs, particularly when enacted with a cudgel vs. a scalpel, tend to lead to recession and job loss.

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